: Adding Power Running Boards to Non-Factory Equipped Model



baggedlvintegra
11-28-12, 09:28 PM
So I'm wanting to add the clean look of the powered running boards to my Escalade that came from the factory with fixed steps. I've tried to do some digging and haven't come up with a definitive answer just yet, and from talking to serge I'm trying to figure out a possible solution.

The attached PDF is the wiring schematic for the power running boards. My interpretation of the schematic is as follows:

The big box on the left is the power running board control module, which I would have for the conversion. It appears the majority of the wires go between the boards and the module itself, a good thing becauase they will co-exist together.

The multifunction switch and wire under the dash (for the switch to disable/enable them) should be no problem as those would be provided with the conversion as well.

In my eyes only 3 wires exit the module
1) Wire #2 - blk (left rear of engine compartment) for ground - simple just ground the wire to my vehicle
2) Wire #5 - red/blk (underhood fuse box, hot at all times) - simple, run the wire to a permanent power source with an inline relay / switch
3) Wire # H - dk grn (computer data lines system) - the potential problem child. I am not sure if all models are equipped with a "computer data line system" wire that runs from the fuse box into the ECM or if that is a special feature for factory equipped power running board models.

Obviously from the diagram you can determine that Wire # H is what controls the boards and tells them when to open and close. I feel like this might be the biggest hurdle because if the "computer data line system" wire is specific to the factory equipped model than I would have no way to control when the boards open / close.

Your thoughts? Any help would be greatly appreciated

Tec80
11-28-12, 11:44 PM
They look cool but are almost more trouble than they are worth. As the motors age they get slower & weaker and start to leave the boards down when you park, unless you "help" them by assisting the board up with your toe after the door is closed. And, I find myself "stepping the board down" as I get out of the truck because the extension speed is getting progressively slower. I lube the pivots constantly, but it is probably time for new motors....or maybe rebuilding the gearboxes attached to the motors.

texas1
11-29-12, 02:32 AM
def interested in this mod i talked to a guy that had this done to his truck in the dealership but would not know how much it ran him :confused:

48548m
11-29-12, 08:51 AM
Would a set of amp research steps be easier and cheaper? Also they offer a 5 year warranty as well.

soulsea
11-29-12, 09:07 AM
They look cool but are almost more trouble than they are worth. As the motors age they get slower & weaker and start to leave the boards down when you park, unless you "help" them by assisting the board up with your toe after the door is closed. And, I find myself "stepping the board down" as I get out of the truck because the extension speed is getting progressively slower. I lube the pivots constantly, but it is probably time for new motors....or maybe rebuilding the gearboxes attached to the motors.

Interesting, I've never heard of this issue ... I certainly haven't had this problem on either of my two trucks that had them, but both of those were relatively new. I wonder if this is more prevalent on older ESV trucks due to GM using the same motors on both the SWB and LWB trims, motors that would presumably struggle more over time to lift the heavier LWB boards.

hcvone
11-29-12, 09:37 AM
They are a HUGE problem in the snow belt areas, if you keep them turned off you will have no issues, but from the snow and ice build up the weight kills the little motors, this has happened to many visitors at our home over the years, if snow is not an issue just keep them lubbed up and they will last a while

baggedlvintegra
11-29-12, 10:52 AM
Snow is absolutely no issue in Texas. And no I don't want to go aftermarket, I want the look of the OEM boards and the deal I have lined up is much cheaper than aftermarket AMP steps.....I'd like to keep the thread in the direction of making these work on a model that didn't come factory equipped with them rather than get into the overkilled debate of the power boards are more problems than their worth.

baggedlvintegra
11-29-12, 02:11 PM
found the install instructions for the AMP steps, havent had time to completely digest them yet but atleast it list all the locations and colors of the "trigger wires" it would take to get these wired up...the forum says the document is too large to upload so I'll have to compress it later

*EDIT* So after pondering over this some more, and reading some posts on another forum I found in a google search, I'm starting to think this is not feasible :(

While the power assist control module is in control of the boards operation, the signal for that operation purely comes from the BCM via the Wire #H "computer data lines system". According to this statement in another forum:

"They are controlled by a assist step control module that has sole control over operations. The bcm and IPC are also programmed specifically for this option bc they also play a role in operation. The turn signal switch is also different because it has a disable switch built into it that communicates on or off the the step assist control module.

This module ties into the databus.

You cant enable the option unfortunately because it was never a factory option on the trucks. You cant flash the truck bcm for a escalade suv because the turn signals will quit functioning correctly.

Tech 2 cant enable it anyways even on suv that is something that has to be done through TIS OE programming software. "

So the BCM signals the control module to perform the specified function. On non-factory equipped models the BCM does not have the capability to do so thus there is no way to signal the control module for action.

I was thinking it may still be possible using the wiring sequence from the AMP power steps BUT you would only have 1 wire coming out of the control module and would have to tie it to 4 seperate wires running to pass door open, pass door close, driver door open, driver door close and there would be no way to regulate it because the "signal" would just be power, therefore it wouldnt know whether its to open close do a flip or roll over lol

I hate to say it but this may be chaulked up as a loss : (

Carneros Red
11-30-12, 10:36 AM
Bummer if your analysis is correct. I stepped up to the Premium trim because my wife liked the autoretract running boards.
I'm always surprised at how cross integrated the various systems on any vehicle are these days. I don't imagine they will become less complex in the future.

baggedlvintegra
11-30-12, 10:39 AM
well some discussion on another forum is yielding some good results, there is still hope!

hannity
11-30-12, 01:10 PM
I would advise against it, mine use to work when they wanted to or they operated very slowly. And whenever the dealer looked at it I got the same story of unable to reproduce the problem. So I just turned them off. If you really want to do it good luck with it.

K9Caddy
11-30-12, 01:59 PM
Nothing EVER worked right on hannity's escalade when he had it. :) I have the power boards on mine and have yet to have issues, they also see snow and freezing weather too. I just keep them lubricated with the Amsoil spray lubricant and they work like a charm.

hannity
11-30-12, 02:18 PM
Nothing EVER worked right on hannity's escalade when he had it. :)
Not true, I never got cut by the inner door handles, never had wind noise, never lost my hitch cover, never had my dash crack.

K9Caddy
11-30-12, 02:34 PM
I don't think you owned it long enough to encounter those problems! ;)

lee88
11-30-12, 02:52 PM
I don't think you owned it long enough to encounter those problems! ;)

Thank God he didn't! Otherwise we would NEVER hear the end of it!

Damndirtyape
12-03-12, 01:18 PM
I have them on my EXT and i've already banged my shin on them a couple times. don't know that i'd go through the hassle to add them if I didn't. That said...

Have you looked at manually installing them? I'm sure an alarm shop could figure something out rigged up using feeds off the alarm or the door jamb contacts to a window rollup module or something along those lines. There really isn't much to them. Step goes up, step goes down and a disable bypass switch. Some sort of relay attached to the door open indicator and call it done.

Factory has a little bit of a delay built in for the retract but why would you need it? when door is open, step is down, when closed step is up. Then you dont have to worry about complicated wiring and modules and flashing and what not.

Just a knee jerk solution that I thought i'd throw out there.

baggedlvintegra
12-03-12, 01:27 PM
thanks for the input....your solution is pretty much exactly what I have mapped out, just a matter of finding the right relays that will peform the function how and when I need it to. Here is the diagram I drew out. I was able to look at teh AMP step install instructions so I know what factory wires in the doors I need to tap in to. SHOULD all work pending the relay part, I just need an electronic guru to help me with the electronics of the relays

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/baggedLVintegra/RetrofitPowerRunningBoardSchematic.png

Damndirtyape
12-03-12, 04:06 PM
Ah well there ya go. Why bother with the timed relays at all? Just use a regular like 30A one and call it done. That way the step opens immediately when you open the door and closes when it's closed. Honestly I don't think mine has a delay on the open anyway, just the close / retract.

I've wired up plenty of normal relays, they're quite simple but never a delay/timed one.

baggedlvintegra
12-03-12, 04:24 PM
Ah well there ya go. Why bother with the timed relays at all? Just use a regular like 30A one and call it done. That way the step opens immediately when you open the door and closes when it's closed. Honestly I don't think mine has a delay on the open anyway, just the close / retract.

I've wired up plenty of normal relays, they're quite simple but never a delay/timed one.

The relays have to be timed because the motors dont have stops therefore once the power is applied the motors would keep trying to extend the steps even though they would already be maxed out, burning up the motors quickly. The same for closed, the motors would be trying to close the steps at all times.

What has to happen with the timed relays is they need to have constant 12v power at all times, then when the door open triggers the relay it needs to allow current to flow for 3 seconds (which I anticipate will be long enough for the motor to fully extend / retract the steps) and then shut off. Same for door close, once the signal of the door closed triggers the relay it should flow current for 3 seconds to get the step back in the closed position and then cut current flow.

Damndirtyape
12-03-12, 05:02 PM
Oh I see. Wonder if rollup modules would work better in this case. I don't think the motors in windows have stops, they rely on the module I think. Worth investigating for sure.

baggedlvintegra
12-05-12, 01:25 PM
So some major break throughs on this project have occured. My thread on www.the12volt.com has generated extensive discussion, to the point that a lead engineer for a small electronics company (www.kptechnologies.com) specializing in niche auto electronic components (such as nav bypass modules, aftermarket starter kill switches / remote start, etc.) has personally contacted me and together we have compiled a schematic to make these power running boards operate with OEM functionality for a very small cost (comparitively).

He has begun designing a prototype controller module for me and is doing so at his parts cost / no labor for us to work out all the minor details and get this perfected. He obviously knows his stuff and is bundeling all the relays, swtiches, potentiometers into an enclosed "module" capable of controlling the steps and has adjustable "power supply timing" that allows perfect tweaking of the time for step retract/extend, not only to get it right and work like factory but for years down the road if the motors start to degrade and open slower you could turn up the timing to make for full operation again.

He has informed me if I was able to gauge interest in the 20 qty range he could begin actual production on the module as a substaintually lower alternative to anything I've reasearched to date. Obviously it would be difficult for 20 people to sign up and that is not what is being requested, but if the interest is there this has great potential for everybody who wants the OEM powered running boards. I made him aware that most importantly peoples interest would be contigent upon them actually finding used take off running boards.

Once I have everything installed, functioning properly and have adequate time to test the controllers I will attempt to work with the moderators to get a sticky thread going with all the details of the retrofit and try to get an interest list going.

baggedlvintegra
12-18-12, 11:50 PM
ITS ALIVE!!!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/baggedLVintegra/th_20121218_174527.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v359/baggedLVintegra/?action=view&current=20121218_174527.mp4)

short vid of the first time operation, works like a charm!!! more to follow once I finish everything up

36dbldz
12-19-12, 05:53 AM
thats whats up

Mackda600
03-24-14, 09:57 PM
Any more on this???

36dbldz
03-25-14, 05:45 AM
Besides the factory ones these may be a good option

http://www.runningboardwarehouse.com/amp-research-power-step-cadillac-escalade-2007-2010.aspx


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App (http://www.autoguide.com/mobile)